Chile: President Piñera Enacts Arms Control Act

Chile: President Piñera Enacts Arms Control Act

After 14 years of discussions in Congress, President Sebastian Piñera on Thursday enacted the Arms Control Act, which regulates the possession, trafficking, and use of firearms in Chile.

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“This initiative will allow citizens to live with greater freedom and tranquility,” Piñera said, stressing that the law gives the Attorney General’s Office and the Military Police (Carabineros) more and better tools to fight against the illegal sale and use of firearms.

People who sell not registered ammunition or destroy the weapons’ tracing system will receive longer sentences, especially in arm selling to minors cases, for which a prison sentence of between one and two years is now established.

The law also sets a new registry of areas enabled for the performance of sports or training with weapons and reduces the number of firearms that individuals or organizations may possess.

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National-based organizations may have only two weapons for each member —with a maximum of 20 licenses—, while collectors of these objects may have up to ten weapons suitable for shooting and 50 unused arms. Hunters and athletes can own up to six arms.

Piñera also recently urged Congress to pass new laws against drug trafficking and terrorism and grant Police protection statutes to threatened citizens. President-elect Gabriel Boric criticized this decision, which he considers insufficient to fight the rise in crime.

“Wrongdoings are a cross-cutting problem. Therefore, we must adopt long-term solutions based on a holistic perspective that allows us to eliminate the issue once and for all,” he stressed.

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